It is generally rough going for those who are accused of “lying to the FBI,” —ask Martha Stewart—but when the FBI lies to the public, or refuses to come clean to the public’s representatives, not so much.
Generally, I don’t agree with many of Donald Trump’s Tweets, but he got it right on the money earlier this week when he Tweeted that the FBI’s reputation is “in tatters.” And it seems that the FBI is mired in the middle of a “silent coup,” to bring down the president.
The FBI is just a little more than a century old, and some would argue that the organization has been pretty corrupt from the beginning. Although the original “G-man” J. Edgar Hoover was a tireless self-promoter for the federal law enforcement agency at a time when lawless gangsters like Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger were roaming the Midwest and creating bloody legends, he had a much darker side: his collection of dirt on virtually every public person in the U.S., which protected him from being fired until his death. The more that presidents had secrets, the more likely they were to keep him from releasing them.
Despite Hoover’s peccadillos, he built up an agency with a reputation for integrity—rock solid integrity such that the FBI has for many years been the gold standard of law enforcement. But with Hoover in charge, the FBI was like a golden tooth whose rottenness was all under the gum line.
However, like the Secret Service, which has also seemed to be fraying around the edges as we learned of agents who have drunken parties overseas while they are supposed to be guarding the president, the FBI is suddenly raising questions—questions it refuses to answer. So, again we must ask, what happens when the FBI lies to the public?
Question 1: Why did the FBI work so hard to keep the June 27, 2016 meeting on the airport tarmac between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch a secret? This was when the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server, and just a few days before then FBI Director James Comey issued his guilty/not-really-guilty/ but really, really careless get out of jail free card to Mrs. Clinton. In his testimony before Congress last June, Comey admitted that that meeting was “problematic.”
It’s only under a series of lawsuits to back up Freedom of Information requests by Judicial Watch, and extreme pressure by the House Intelligence Committee that we have learned that there were pages of pages of internal memos and emails within the FBI about this meeting. But they mainly focused on “getting” the leaker, rather than on the impropriety or downright illegality of the meeting to begin with.
Question 2: Why was the FBI investigating the Trump campaign last year based on a file by a former British MI5 agent called the “Steele Dossier” that the Clinton campaign had paid for, and which was later shown to be mainly rumors and invented so-called intelligence? Why was such a scurrilous source used to justify getting FISA warrants to spy on Trump operatives?
Question 3: Why did special counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the FBI for a dozen years before handing it over to Comey—his longtime friend—keep the news that one of his top agents on the Russia “collusion” investigation, Peter Strzok, was a partisan anti-Trumpist, who also worked on the Comey investigation of Hillary Clinton?
As Tucker Carlson of Fox News observed this week: “For months, Trump defenders have alleged that Robert Mueller’s investigation is tainted with partisan politics. They’ve noted for example the strikingly high percentage of prosecutors on Mueller’s team who are also major Democratic donors.” Carlson is starting to believe that they may be on to something.
Strzok was such a one. He helped rewrite Comey’s original statement on Mrs. Clinton into one that was less critical and basically cleared the former secretary of state of wrongdoing—in the middle of a presidential campaign. Earlier this summer Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia probe and demoted him to the FBI version of Siberia for sending highly political texts attacking Trump and praising Clinton to his mistress, who was also in the FBI. Hardly the actions of a neutral FBI investigator.
Yet Mueller kept this fact to himself for months. In spite of the fact that Strzok just happened to be at Ground Zero of the two most explosive investigations of the FBI’s recent history. The FBI and Mueller also refuse to release to Congress the actual texts that were sent by Strzok to his lady love.
Question 4: Why is the FBI so strenuously resisting the House Intelligence Committee’s demands for documentation related to the Steele Dossier, not to mention Strzok’s damning texts?
The Romans had a saying: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Who watches the watchmen?
If the FBI, which is supposed to be democracy’s last bulwark against corruption, is as corrupt as the people it investigates, what protection then do we then have?